More evidence for ninth planet roaming solar system’s outer fringes

Posted: October 20, 2016 by oldbrew in research, solar system dynamics
Tags:

Kuiper Belt [credit: amazingspace.org]

Kuiper Belt [credit: amazingspace.org]


The latest research claims to have detected resonant patterns in some of ‘these most distant Kuiper Belt objects’, perhaps suggesting the presence of a major ‘shepherding’ planetary body, as Phys.org reports.

As the search for a hypothetical, unseen planet far, far beyond Neptune’s orbit continues, research by a team of the University of Arizona provides additional support for the possible existence of such a world and narrows the range of its parameters and location.

Led by Renu Malhotra, a Regents’ Professor of Planetary Sciences in the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, the team found that the four Kuiper Belt Objects with the longest known orbital periods revolve around the Sun in patterns most readily explained by the presence of a hypothetical “Planet Nine” approximately ten times the mass of Earth.

Malhotra is presenting the results at the joint 48th meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society and 11th European Planetary Science Congress in Pasadena, California. According to the researchers’ calculations, such a hypothetical planet would complete one orbit around the Sun roughly every 17,000 years and, at its farthest point from our central star, it would swing out more than 660 astronomical units, with one AU being the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.

Resonances
“We analyzed the data of these most distant Kuiper Belt objects,” Malhotra said, “and noticed something peculiar, suggesting they were in some kind of resonances with an unseen planet.”

In their paper, “Corralling a Distant Planet with Extreme Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects,” Malhotra and her co-authors, Kathryn Volk and Xianyu Wang, point out peculiarities of the orbits of the extreme KBOs that went unnoticed until now: they found that the orbital period ratios of these objects are close to ratios of small whole numbers.

An example of this would be one KBO traveling around the Sun once while another takes twice as long, or three times as long, or four times as long etc., but not, say, 2.7 times as long.

According to the authors, such ratios could arise most naturally if the extreme KBOs’ orbital periods are in small whole number ratios with a massive planet, which would help to stabilize the highly elliptical orbits of eKBOs.

The findings bolster previous work by other scientists that showed that six of those bodies travel on highly eccentric orbits whose long axes all point in the same direction. This clustering of orbital parameters of the most distant KBOs suggested a large, planetary size body shepherding their orbits.

Full report: More evidence for ninth planet roaming solar system’s outer fringes | Phys.org

Also: Curious tilt of the sun traced to undiscovered planet | Phys.org

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    ‘Planet Nine’s angular momentum is having an outsized impact on the solar system based on its location and size.’

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-curious-tilt-sun-undiscovered-planet.html

  2. tallbloke says:

    “such a hypothetical planet would complete one orbit around the Sun roughly every 17,000 years and, at its farthest point from our central star, it would swing out more than 660 astronomical units”

    A 17Kyear orbit gives a SMA of 661AU according to Kepler’s 3rd law.

  3. John Silver says:

    Define “evidence”

  4. oldbrew says:

    John S: it’s in the report e.g. the observed resonances suggest ‘shepherding’.

    ‘…six of those bodies travel on highly eccentric orbits whose long axes all point in the same direction. This clustering of orbital parameters of the most distant KBOs suggested a large, planetary size body shepherding their orbits.’

    A ‘Planet Nine’ is not necessarily the correct or only possible explanation, but unless or until there’s another one, all we can say is: something must be true, so how about this?

  5. oldbrew says:

    Abstract
    The four longest period Kuiper Belt objects have orbital periods close to integer ratios with each other. A hypothetical planet with an orbital period of ~17,117 years and a semimajor axis ~665 au would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. The orbital geometries and dynamics of resonant orbits constrain the orbital plane, the orbital eccentricity, and the mass of such a planet as well as its current location in its orbital path.

    More information: “Corralling a Distant Planet with Extreme Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects,” Renu Malhotra, Kathryn Volk & Xianyu Wang, 2016 June 20, Astrophysical Journal letters
    iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L22

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-evidence-ninth-planet-roaming-solar.html

  6. John Silver says:

    No, Dr Oldbrew, I disagree. Suggestion is not equivalent to evidence.
    This is a fabricated proposal to support their flawed “Standard Model”.

  7. oldbrew says:

    John S: that may be, but if so an alternative explanation is needed.

  8. suricat says:

    oldbrew says: October 21, 2016 at 11:53 am

    “that may be, but if so an alternative explanation is needed.”

    You said it yourself, elsewhere, oldbrew, ~”many stars in the Milky Way are binary”.🙂

    A ‘planet’ (P 9) orbiting Sol at this orbit will encounter many episodes in the Kyper Belt, unless, it’s orbital angle is way outside of Sol’s equator when perturbation to the Kyper Belt would/could be observed occasionally. However, an orbital angle that’s ‘way outside’ of Sol’s equator is surely unsustainable by Sol per se. Is it not?

    During my youthful interest as an amateur astronomer I recollect a region in the northern hemisphere that was of no interest. It was ’empty’! Now, in later life, this ‘box’ piques my interest by reason of all absence within it, but I can’t for the life of me remember ‘where it was’. Any ideas?

    I toy with the concept of ‘mass lensing’ to produce a ‘mirage’ of ’emptiness’ as speculation of Sol’s binary dark companion.

    Best regards, Ray.

  9. pg sharrow says:

    The hints to be seen of a large orbiting body are far too few to make any positive declaration. They do point to something that is not a part of the planetary arrangement that we are familiar with…pg

  10. oldbrew says:

    If they’re talking about a hypothetical planet at 665 AU, that’s five times the distance between the Sun and the heliopause.

    ‘The heliopause is the last frontier of the solar system, it is at ≈130 AU (20 billion km), is the boundary where the solar wind begins [to] fade and where interstellar space starts.’ [Automatic translation]
    http://www.astronoo.com/en/articles/heliosphere.html

    We have Sedna at 506 AU but due to its very high eccentricity its perihelion is only 37 AU, not all that far from Neptune at 30 AU. Planet Nine’s imagined orbit period would be 50% greater than Sedna’s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90377_Sedna

    The orbit of every single other object in the entire solar system can be explained, at least in principle, by some interaction with the known planets. Sedna alone requires something else out there.
    http://www.mikebrownsplanets.com/2010/10/theres-something-out-there-part-2.html
    [Mike Brown discovered Sedna]

  11. oldbrew says:

    Professor: ‘So it is quite possible that we are being misled and that the apparent manifestation of dark energy is a consequence of analysing the data in an oversimplified theoretical model – one that was in fact constructed in the 1930s, long before there was any real data.’

    Being misled – surely not? Oh dear😉

    Source: The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate—or is it?
    October 21, 2016
    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-10-universe-rateor.html

  12. tallbloke says:

    Mike Brown: “The orbit of every single other object in the entire solar system can be explained, at least in principle, by some interaction with the known planets. Sedna alone requires something else out there.”

    Which of course begs the question of why Planet 9 alone wouldn’t require another even bigger planet even further out…

  13. oldbrew says:

    TB: you might end up with a binary or ex-binary Sun as the number one possibility.

  14. pg sharrow says:

    @Tallbloke; your bigger planet further out may well be the brown dwarf that causes the tilt of our sun…pg

  15. oldbrew says:

    Nowhere left to hide for Planet Nine: Astronomers claim the mystery world will be found within just 16 months

    The claims were made by astronomer Mike Brown, one of those who proposed the existence of the mystery world, while speaking at a conference in the US this week.

    ‘I’m pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter – not this winter, next winter – I think that there’ll be enough people looking for it that … somebody’s actually going to track this down,’ said Professor Brown, speaking at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) in Pasadena.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3860036/Nowhere-left-hide-Planet-Nine-Astronomers-claim-mystery-world-just-16-months.html

  16. Joe basel says:

    Their findings have been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal, and will be presented on October 18 at the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences annual meeting, held in Pasadena.

    The tilt of the solar system’s orbital plane has long befuddled astronomers because of the way the planets formed: as a spinning cloud slowly collapsing first into a disk and then into objects orbiting a central star.

    Planet Nine’s angular momentum is having an outsized impact on the solar system based on its location and size. A planet’s angular momentum equals the mass of an object multiplied by its distance from the sun, and corresponds with the force that the planet exerts on the overall system’s spin. Because the other planets in the solar system all exist along a flat plane, their angular momentum works to keep the whole disk spinning smoothly.

    Planet Nine’s unusual orbit, however, adds a multi-billion-year wobble to that system. Mathematically, given the hypothesized size and distance of Planet Nine, a six-degree tilt fits perfectly, Brown says.

    The next question, then, is how did Planet Nine achieve its unusual orbit? Though that remains to be determined, Batygin suggests that the planet may have been ejected from the neighborhood of the gas giants by Jupiter, or perhaps may have been influenced by the gravitational pull of other stellar bodies in the solar system’s extreme past.

    I think that your thoughts that something will come out of the conference this week.

  17. suricat says:

    suricat says: October 22, 2016 at 2:41 am

    “During my youthful interest as an amateur astronomer I recollect a region in the northern hemisphere that was of no interest. It was ’empty’! Now, in later life, this ‘box’ piques my interest by reason of all absence within it, but I can’t for the life of me remember ‘where it was’. Any ideas?”

    Found it!!! The Great Square of Pegasus. The ‘square’ isn’t exactly ’empty’, but everything in it is so ‘dim’ that its considered to be ’empty’, see here:

    http://eas-online.org.uk/the-sky-this-month/the-night-sky-in-november-2015/

    “If Andromeda is high up, then the constellation of Pegasus is easy to find, with its giant empty square of four stars.”

    However, it’s claimed that ‘faint’ stars can be observed ‘using binoculars’ within the ‘square’???:

    http://earthsky.org/favorite-star-patterns/great-square-of-pegasus-wings-in-sept-equinox

    “A great big square of nothing

    Often at events where many are stargazing for the first time, one may hear, “this great big square has nothing in it.” The square isn’t exactly empty. The stars in the square are faint enough that the unaided eye can’t easily detect them. If you have binoculars or small telescopes many stars pop up within the square.”

    I ‘couldn’t/haven’t’ see/seen any with my ’75mm f8 lensed’ refractor telescope at any low magnification (low ‘mag’ = high res, high mag = low res and ‘high res @ low mag’ = greater ‘light grasp’, or ‘light intensity enhancement’), but that’s not to say that they aren’t there. I just couldn’t/haven’t see/seen them.😦

    Just what’s going on here? Is there a ‘close’ and ‘dark’ stellar object ‘lensing’ our observation for this region (consider ‘Einstein’s Cross’ and its possible configurations)?

    IMHO an observation of the region at wavelengths slightly smaller/shorter than that of the ‘CMB’ (Cosmic Microwave Background) would reveal any massive object within the ‘square’, other than a Black Hole.

    Again, IMHO, P9 is the result of an ‘external influence’ of/from Sol’s system characteristics.

    Best regards, Ray.

  18. oldbrew says:

    ‘Just what’s going on here? Is there a ‘close’ and ‘dark’ stellar object ‘lensing’ our observation for this region’

    Maybe the objects stars in that region are just too far away. That leads on to the ‘why is the sky dark at night?’ (Olbers’ paradox) theory.

    http://www.physics.org/facts/sand-dark.asp

  19. suricat says:

    oldbrew says: October 23, 2016 at 11:21 am

    “Maybe the objects in that region are just too far away. That leads on to the ‘why is the sky dark at night?’ (Olbers’ paradox) theory.”

    Great distance may be an assumption for the phenomenon and its possible that there isn’t ‘actually’ any ‘~local glowing mass’ in the region, but why isn’t this phenomenon observed ‘elsewhere’ in our skies?

    I don’t think your “Olbers’ paradox” relates well where ‘dark matter’ is involved. In fact dark matter may well explain this paradox. Olbers’ paradox is based upon the assumption that all ‘objects in space’ emit light. They don’t. Earth doesn’t ’emit light’ does it (this places Earth in the ‘dark matter’ category)? So why should all objects in space emit light?

    No. Most objects in space absorb some incident light and reflect what can’t be absorbed. These range from black holes to neutron stars and planets to gas clouds, and are labelled as ‘dark matter’. Its only the ‘energy generating stellar masses’ that ’emit energy’ that can be observed in the ‘vis spectra’ we can see when we look at the sky. We need a ‘broader bandwidth’!

    With respect:

    http://www.physics.org/facts/sand-dark.asp

    ‘Red shift’ isn’t a topic in this thread and the site you link to ‘sucks’! However, ‘massive objects’ alter the direction of a ‘wave-front’ by absorption and reflection. The ‘unaffected’ (reflected) transmission falls into the ‘energy gap’ generated by absorption, thus, altering the local ‘wave-front’ direction for any ‘unaffected’ wavelengths.

    The ‘greater distance’ that ‘reflected energy’ needs to traverse causes a ‘red shift’ WRT the ‘original emission’. The ’cause’ is ‘intervening mass’.

    Please get it together.

    Ray.

  20. pg sharrow says:

    @suricat: Ray, the currants in the oceans of space.😉 We can not sense the water that we exist in, so it does not exist! Hard to tell the reason for your area of darkness. Gravitational lensing seems to be fairly low down on possible causes…pg

  21. oldbrew says:

    Olbers’ paradox rests on the idea that there are in effect ‘stars everywhere’, but obviously some are are a lot further away than others, so their light takes longer to reach us and some of it may not have, or may never, reach us because the distances are too great and may be increasing.

    Ray: the website that ‘sucks’ is that of the Institute of Physics🙂
    http://www.iop.org/about/index.html

    In the last comment ‘objects’ was misleading, so I’ve amended it to ‘stars’.

  22. tallbloke says:

    pg sharrow says:
    October 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm
    @Tallbloke; your bigger planet further out may well be the brown dwarf that causes the tilt of our sun…pg

    We can keep an open mind on the cause of the Sun’s tilt, but I tend to prefer the explanation I gave in another recent thread because it DOESN’T require any hidden objects that may or may not be out there.

    “the whole solar system is tilted at an angle to the direction of motion of the solar system travelling around the galactic core. Motion through an electro-magnetic medium by the Sun, which generates its own large magnetic field, is going to produce a force. That force will tilt the axis of the Sun. The Quadrupole moment produced by the Sun acting on the planets gravitationally should gradually force the planets towards an orbit around the solar equatorial plane. But this will take a long time, because the Sun is nearly spherical, and the planets have 98%+ of the solar system angular momentum.

    The path of the solar system around the galaxy isn’t a smooth orbit either, because it is pulled up and down by passage above and below the spiral arms. So the 6 degree disorientation between the Sun’s spin axis and the plane of invariance (the average plane of the planets) is likely due (in my humble opinion) to a lag between changes in the Sun’s axial orientation due to EM interaction between the heliomagnetic and galactic fields as it moves above and below the galactic plane, and the planets slowly drifting back towards alignment with the solar equatorial plane.

    If we’re still around in a few million years to measure it, we’ll probably find the 6 degree tilt between Sun and invariant plane has changed in proportion to the position of the solar system relative to the galactic plane.”

  23. suricat says:

    oldbrew says: October 24, 2016 at 11:48 am

    “Olbers’ paradox rests on the idea that there are in effect ‘stars everywhere’, but obviously some are are a lot further away than others, so their light takes longer to reach us and some of it may not have, or may never, reach us because the distances are too great and may be increasing.”

    This is only valid for an ‘expanding (God given) universe’ (which has its problems)! It says nothing about a ‘steady state’ structure, other than to mention anomalies for an ‘expansion’ state!

    “Ray: the website that ‘sucks’ is that of the Institute of Physics
    http://www.iop.org/about/index.html

    oldbrew. No it isn’t! You linked to;
    http://www.physics.org/facts/sand-dark.asp
    not;
    http://www.iop.org/about/index.html
    which is ‘elsewhere’! You offer nought but obfuscation on this point.

    “In the last comment ‘objects’ was misleading, so I’ve amended it to ‘stars’.”

    It would be nice if I could ‘do the same’ (edit after posting), but this encourages ‘post manipulation’ which should be eradicated IMHO. However, you should place more forethought into your postings before you post them. Yet another reason why I don’t post here very often. I put ‘forethought’ into my posts.

    Attention to tallbloke: Please ‘have a word’ with oldbrew about ‘transparency’ when posting errata (and I don’t mean the “stars” manipulation).🙂

    Ray.

  24. suricat says:

    tallbloke says: October 24, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    “We can keep an open mind on the cause of the Sun’s tilt, but I tend to prefer the explanation I gave in another recent thread because it DOESN’T require any hidden objects that may or may not be out there.
    “the whole solar system is tilted at an angle to the direction of motion of the solar system travelling around the galactic core. Motion through an electro-magnetic medium by the Sun, which generates its own large magnetic field, is going to produce a force. That force will tilt the axis of the Sun. The Quadrupole moment produced by the Sun acting on the planets gravitationally should gradually force the planets towards an orbit around the solar equatorial plane. But this will take a long time, because the Sun is nearly spherical, and the planets have 98%+ of the solar system angular momentum.
    The path of the solar system around the galaxy isn’t a smooth orbit either, because it is pulled up and down by passage above and below the spiral arms. So the 6 degree disorientation between the Sun’s spin axis and the plane of invariance (the average plane of the planets) is likely due (in my humble opinion) to a lag between changes in the Sun’s axial orientation due to EM interaction between the heliomagnetic and galactic fields as it moves above and below the galactic plane, and the planets slowly drifting back towards alignment with the solar equatorial plane.
    If we’re still around in a few million years to measure it, we’ll probably find the 6 degree tilt between Sun and invariant plane has changed in proportion to the position of the solar system relative to the galactic plane.””

    I concur, but that doesn’t explain the ‘occasional perturbation/s within the Kyper Belt’ TB. The whole thing smacks of ‘valency’ (co-valency to be exact) to me. Then again, I’m just an engineer.😉

    Best regards, Ray.

  25. oldbrew says:

    Ray says:
    No it isn’t! You linked to;
    http://www.physics.org/facts/sand-dark.asp
    not;
    http://www.iop.org/about/index.html
    which is ‘elsewhere’!

    If you look on the right hand side of the first link it says ‘Institute of Physics’.
    Hover the mouse over that and it says ‘Institute of Physics website’.

    This is not ‘obfuscation’🙂

  26. David A Anderson says:

    The web site “Binary Research Institute” has an interesting viewpoint, including the acceleration of the eqoinox progrssion, the angular momentum in the solar system, the relatively clean edge of the solar system, etc. They make a decent case that Ocmans razor cuts fairly deep on this subject.

  27. tallbloke says:

    I seem to remember Ian Wilson provided a calc which showed that at the distance a hypothetical binary partner for the Sun would be for a ~22kyr orbit, and it’s necessary size (unless a white dwarf?), there’s little chance we wouldn’t have spotted it by now.

  28. suricat says:

    oldbrew says: October 25, 2016 at 10:05 am

    “…”

    Let’s ‘put this to bed’ oldbrew. We both may have misunderstood our postings, so let’s get on with the subject.🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

    [reply] agreed

  29. David A Anderson says:

    True Tallbloke, except we keep finding cooler dwarf Suns, and looking into particularly bright directions, our disparate spectral vision are limited. I view The binary research Institutes evidence from their many diverse angles. Naturally not yet finding it yet is the largest criticism, but IMV, certainly not conclusive.

  30. suricat says:

    David A Anderson says: October 27, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    “The web site “Binary Research Institute” has an interesting viewpoint, including the acceleration of the eqoinox progrssion, the angular momentum in the solar system, the relatively clean edge of the solar system, etc.”

    Thank you for your addition to the debate David. The ‘Binary Research Institute’ was hitherto unknown to me;

    http://binaryresearchinstitute.com/bri/

    but this link should get us there.

    I’ve yet to explore this, but I shall do so.

    Best regards, Ray.

  31. oldbrew says:

    A SURVEY OF STELLAR FAMILIES: MULTIPLICITY OF SOLAR-TYPE STARS [2010]

    Bluer, more massive stars are seen as more likely to have companions than redder, less massive ones, consistent with the trend seen over the entire spectral range. Systems with larger interaction cross sections, i.e., those with more than two components or long orbital periods, are preferentially younger, suggesting that companions may be stripped over time by dynamical interactions.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0067-0049/190/1/1/meta

    Maybe our solar system isn’t what it used to be.

  32. pg sharrow says:

    Oldbrew says;”Maybe our solar system isn’t what it used to be.”

    For sure! Our old system shows signs of at least 3 encounters with something LARGE!

    The Uranus system was set on it’s ear, the Neptune system disrupted and the Earth/Luna pair created by something that got too close on at least 3 occasions over the last 5 billion years…pg

  33. oldbrew says:

    Something must have ‘perturbed’ Triton in the past it seems…

    ‘Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune…It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the opposite direction to its planet’s rotation.’

    ‘Because of its retrograde orbit and composition similar to Pluto’s, Triton is thought to have been a dwarf planet captured from the Kuiper belt.’

    ‘Triton is one of the few moons in the Solar System known to be geologically active.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triton_(moon)

  34. David A Anderson says:

    Your welcome suricat. Talbloke you may find this photo, of the BRI interesting…

    http://binaryresearchinstitute.com/bri/4.0/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Earth-Orientation-24pg-web.pdf

  35. David A Anderson says:

    Sorry for the typos; small phone – fat fingers.

  36. suricat says:

    David A Anderson says: October 30, 2016 at 4:24 am

    “Your welcome suricat.”

    Thank you again. It isn’t often that I find a website that attributes ‘small forcings between gravity and inertia’ as a ‘major outcome’ to a scenario.

    Its ‘refreshing’!🙂

    Its also a way into an ‘autopsy’ of current day observation.

    Your link; http://binaryresearchinstitute.com/bri/4.0/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Earth-Orientation-24pg-web.pdf

    is actually to a ‘paper’ on that very subject of ‘autopsy’.

    Best regards, Ray.

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